“Whenever I thought of losing hope, I felt as If I am losing hope in my Creator”, Sakina Apa used to say. A lioness with a heart of an angel, the most courageous and determined woman I know. I had a special kind of realtionship with that woman who used to come evryday with her smile on her face which I never knew many sorrows resided. She often used to cheer up my brotehr and I as we used to get sad at meagre things. That special affection we had with that iron lady was one of its kind.
She was only a loving being, like a family memeber to us untill we got to know the deeper reality. One day as we came running from school with our heavy bags waiting for Sakina Apa to give us food when our mom came in saying she was not there today. As hungry as we were, suddenly our restlessness turned into a concern as we inquired where she was and we were told that she is in the hospital. As a child it seemed like something pretty normal until I overehard saying “Yeah such a bad man he is, Poor Sakina, he beat her mercilessly”. Just then my eyes went wide open and I couldn’t believe what my ears heard. I went to my mom and told her that I wanted to know.
Sakina had four daughters. She belonged to a feudal village in Punjab where women were considered as materialistic stuff. Her daughters were deprived of formal education. However, she secretly used to teach them taking some of my old books. About her own education she used to say: “My parents were unwilling to send me to school but a kind lady in the village taught me how to read and write”
She had a very tough life and now that her husband was increasingly abusive and one of her daughters was raped by a feudal landlord who took her for money.
That is when she met this woman; Mina. Belonging to a social welfare organization she took legal actions to form a secret society and then it all happened as the women violence level decreased in the village of monsters.
Despite all the hardships she faced , Sakina Aapa never gave. The face never lost its colour but was a reflection of determination and courage. The smile never lost its touch. So basically it all comes to a point that in worst possible scenarios it is wiser to strive for better than to lose hope. Hope is a weapon. It is a power which can help you conquer the world
“If I would have believed the epeople in my village and never stood up for my rights, my life would have been no less than hell”
Author: Zersha Ali Sheikh